Wild Boar in Europe – Trends and Challenges: Wildlife Estates publishes new report

Wild Boar in Europe – Trends and Challenges: Wildlife Estates publishes new report

On the 26 June 2018, the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO) launched a new study: Wild Boar (Sus Scrofa) Populations in Europe: A scientific review of population trends and implications for management at the European Parliament.

Wild boar populations have undergone a systematic increase, in both size and distribution range, across most parts of Europe over the past 30 years. This large, adaptive mammal is causing damage to crops and forested areas, affecting biodiversity and ecosystems, and is increasingly a danger to motorists. Hunters, landowners and environmentalists have diverging opinions on the causes of the population growth in Europe, as well as different responses to managing it.

For some, a growing wild boar population is a positive development, indicating better habitat conditions and the presence of an additional huntable species. Others are strongly opposed to an expanding population and cite the increasing negative impacts such as agricultural damage and road accidents.

The spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) within European borders means that the lack of data and understanding about the trends in populations of this animal has taken on new risks, and the species is becoming an increasing concern not only to farmers and hunters but to national authorities and those from the scientific community.

To get a better view on the current situation, the causes and effects of these growing populations, and as well as assessing the effectiveness of certain measures which are taken to mitigate negative human-wild boar interactions, the ELO has decided to try to find some answers within the vast amount of scientific papers written on the subject.

This new report, authored by ELO scientific Director, Dr. Jurgen Tack, aims to compile the existing research on the subject in order to provide an overview of the situation. It is based on 550 peer-reviewed scientific papers containing the words ‘wild boar’ and ‘Europe’ in their abstracts.

The growing populations can be explained by a multitude of variables including climate change, changing agricultural practices, and increasing human pressures in rural areas. While many research papers attempt to afor growing populations, and their associated problems, it is hard to find scientific information on possible solutions.

Basing its conclusions on existing knowledge, the study proposes a number of policy recommendations to decrease the number of negative human-wild boar interactions. This report also tries to identify elements which could help manage and limit the negative impacts of the growing wild boar populations including mitigating the risks of disease transmission. At the same time, it calls for a stronger scientific support of existing and future manage¬ment practices.

Recommendations given in this report should not be considered as solutions but should be seen as a basis for discussions in order to reconcile nature, social and economic arguments.

For media queries please contact:

Delphine Dupeux, Policy Officer, Intergroup coordinator
delphine.dupeux@elo.org / + 32 2 234 30 00

About the Intergroup “Biodiversity, Hunting and Countryside” of the European Parliament
The Sustainable Hunting, Biodiversity, Countryside activities and Forestry Intergroup was created in 1985 and is one of the oldest and most active parliamentary platforms. It gathers MEPs from different political groups and various stakeholders promoting wildlife conservation, sustainable hunting and fishing, as well as the sustainable management of the countryside and cultural heritage.

The objectives of the Intergroup are to promote the role of hunting and other forms of sustainable use of wild species for biodiversity, wildlife management, rural development and forestry issues. Additionally, the Intergroup regularly focuses on cross cutting issues that affect socio-economic activities in rural areas and seek to build bridges between the civil society and decision makers.

In 2004, ELO (European Landowners’ Organization) joined the Intergroup as Co-Secretariat, bringing expertise in countryside-related topics.

About the ELO – European Landowners’ Organization
The European Landowners’ Organization is a unique federation of over 60 national associations from the 28 EU Member States and beyond, which represent the interests of landowners, land managers and rural entrepreneurs at the European political level. Independent and non-profit, the ELO stands for all rural entrepreneurs, promoting a prosperous countryside through the dynamism of private landownership and stewardship.